The stage is set for Australia’s preeminent up and coming country artists to go head-to-head in Tamworth next January, with the top ten announced for the 42 Toyota Star Maker competition.
Chosen from almost one hundred entries, the top ten sees eight artists from regional NSW, as well as one from regional Queensland and regional Victoria.
The 2022 Toyota Star Maker top ten, in alphabetical order, are:
Billie-Jo Porter (Age 38, Coffs Harbour NSW)
Brittany Elise (Age 27, Boyne Island, QLD)
Charlie Fittler (Age 18, Armidale NSW)
Clancy Pye (Age 29, Orange NSW)
Heath Lancaster (Age 20, Kempsey NSW)
Jade Gibson (Age 23, Wangaratta, VIC)
Jake Davey (Age 25, Taree NSW)
Katie Jayne (Age 33, Scone NSW)
Loren Ryan (Age 27, Tamworth NSW)
Max Jackson (Age 29, Carrington NSW)
Toyota Star Maker Coordinator Cheryl Brown said after the competition’s cancellation in 2021 due to COVID-19, it was a huge thrill for event organisers and sponsors to resume delivering this top-quality competition, particularly in the festival’s 50th anniversary year.
“This year’s top ten are a truly inspiring and talented bunch, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and talents, who’ve also managed to continue with their craft despite the past 18-months.”
“I have no doubt that the 2022 Grand Final concert will be one tough, but exciting competition!”
Launching the careers of some of Australia’s best country stars, like Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan, the Toyota Star Maker is the nation’s longest running and most respected country music competitions.
“There’s a large percentage of the Star Maker alumni who are kicking huge goals in their careers and we are very proud of their success, knowing the role Star Maker played at the very start,” Cheryl said.
“Having witnessed the rise of artists like Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole and the new crop of artists including Kaylee Bell, Rachael Fahim, Brad Cox, Blake O’Connor and many others, through the years, validates the importance of a platform such as Star Maker.”
The top ten are now invited to the 2022 Toyota Country Music Festival, where they will perform two of their songs on stage at the Star Maker Grand Final on the opening weekend of the Festival at Toyota Park.
The illustrious panel of judges for the 2022 Star Maker Grand Final include CMAA Chairman Dan Biddle, KIX Country National Content Director, Justin Thomson, the longtime manager of Troy Cassar-Daley, Roxanne Brown, Major Events Gold Coast Director, Mark Duckworth and the Pub Group’s Craig
“We have an amazing high calibre judging panel and this is a real chance for the top 10 to perform, impress and follow in the footsteps of many successful
Star Maker winners,” Cheryl said.
The Grand Final concert will feature a gala performance by 2020 Star Maker winner, Sammy White, whose reign was extended by 12 months due to prevailing conditions.
Since winning Star Maker, the former Townsville, now Rockhampton local has released her Star Maker album Undone and three singles Lay It On Me, Home (Feels Like You) and Running Away Tonight.
Sammy’s extraordinary commitment to her reign has been acknowledged in the 2022 Golden Guitar Awards’ New Talent of the Year category.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer John Pappas said Toyota congratulates all the finalists in Toyota Star Maker and is looking forward to seeing which
talented artist it would help to take the next steps in their career.
“Toyota Star Maker is always a highlight of the Toyota Country Music Festival and we are proud to offer a substantial prize package that can give aspiring country music stars a real boost to their career,” Mr Pappas said.
“We would like to wish all the finalists the best of luck and look forward to celebrating the extraordinary young talent that we have in Australia, along with all country music fans, at the grand final concert,” he said.
The Star Maker Grand Final is one of the biggest events of the annual Toyota Country Music Festival and is on Sunday, 16 January 2022, at Toyota Park Tamworth.
For further information on the Toyota Star Maker competition visit https://starmaker.com.au/
Toyota Star Maker is organised and promoted by Tamworth Regional Council, publishers of Country Music Capital News, and the Official Guide to The Tamworth Country Music Festival.